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policeThe police atrocity in Sathankulam, Tamilnadu state against the father-son duo Jayaraj & Bennicks has evoked widespread protests beyond the state at the national level. Today the police department itself helped the common man to get out of the illusion that policemen are righteous idealists. Leftists have been cynical about the state terrorism being inflicted on common citizens for many years. This incident is another corroborating evidence.

The common citizen is always at the receiving end of the corporate greed for profits and political exploitation in India. The police force at the command of political and governmental leadership is mostly working for the masters and implementing third-rated violence on the poor masses to achieve the goals.

We must understand that they can never function for the common people, and that its task is to protect the exploitation by oppression, and to reform it into a system that serves the common people is contrary to the laws of mechanics. But those who think that this system should be so, and who are ignorant of the dynamics of this society, have begun to think to reform the police.

It is getting increasingly difficult to approach and get justice from the police and judicial set up in the country for the poor and downtrodden. But this incident has generated serious questions about the role of the police force and its service requirements for common citizens. Is this a piping dream?

There were many discussions in the media about educating the police about service with humility, public behaviour, and pleasantness. It sounds strange and raises questions about where the police force gets people from. Are they coming from some divine sources and godsend for the poor people on the street? Are the police people recruited from common masses or not? In fact, most of the police personnel are from poor and middle-class families of India. Rich and politically dominant families do not find police jobs as something interesting resulting in almost near zero representation even at officer level. Once the police are recruited from common background families, it becomes an easy path to earn money and power through corruption and nepotism. In fact, there is rampant corruption in the recruitment, transfer, and promotion of police personnel at every level. They become part of the corrupt regular income-generating system prevalent at every police station from roadside vendors to the high-end bars or real estate tycoons. It becomes natural for them to become loyal to the political and governmental leadership to loot the public money, and they tend to become arrogant to the poor and middle class.

Until there is a class imbalance in society, the state-run police force that maintains that social structure can never serve the simple people. Even in this specific incident, based on fear of the political parties and the struggles of the masses and the pressures of the media, there are some damage control actions from CM and the high court, but not to the level of getting justice for the brutal killing of the poor father-son. The involved SI-Raghu Ganesh, Balakrishnan, Head constable-Murugan, and policemen-Muthuraj, Mahajan are now suspended and arrested for murder charges. Even with this kind of media attention one of the policemen, Maharajan had openly challenged the judge M.S.Bharathidasan with derogatory remarks during the judicial investigation.

The evidence of the murder charges like CCTV footages, medical records have been erased and false FIR has been recorded. It shows how much criminalisation has entrenched in the police forces. This incident is one of the many human rights violations and criminal injustice inflicted by police forces throughout Tamilnadu. It has shaken faith in the whole ecosystem. Who is at fault? The violent police or the medical officer who gave false medical certificates or the magistrate who remanded - All of them. Nobody can be believed to have even basic ethics and have no sense of justice to the common man.

There is some ray of hope from lady constable Revathy who gave the true version of the police beatings at the station in the night. But it is not enough. It just cannot be evidence of a few bad guys among a vast majority of good guys at the police. Even Revathy came out with the truth after the incident before the judge. She had no courage to prevent or even contact higher officials when she was a witness to the atrocities in person at the station. Clearly, the system is rotten.

We can see the actions of corrupt police all around society. From constables at every roadside vendor collecting a few hundred rupees to senior IPS officers favouring rich business magnates for gains. The TASMAC shops are real bounties for local police stations. Prostitution, mafias, illegal establishments and services can only survive in any police station limits by sharing a part of their revenues with police. When a common man can get liquor in the night for a premium in the city, can the police know about this in a jiffy? Everybody understands that criminal acts are done under police protection for the money. People like Revathi have a choice to become part of the corrupt system for money or close the eyes and continue in the system as long as their jobs are in place.

The accountability of the police today lies entirely with the government. There is no system to connect with the democratic setup or people's movement. The government can unilaterally decide the police actions even if it is against the people and get away with the negative results. Police shooting on people protesting at Sterlite, Thoothukudi is a perfect example. An 18-year-old girl living in a small house was considered a big threat to the government and shot at the mouth. What a big injustice and who takes the responsibility for this criminal act? No one either at police or government. No blame can be made on any single policemen who fired the shots at the poor girl. As there is no mechanism to question and remove the criminal police from their jobs, they will continue to thrive. The maximum punishment in extreme cases is that police could be transferred or suspended for a few months. In a true democracy, there should be a mechanism to throw criminal police out of the job immediately upon proven charges.

We need to urge democratic organisations to organise movements and initiate proactive debates on this long pending initiative. We need to fix accountability for police actions and need a legal system to punish and remove them from the force on proven charges. It will pave the way for a strong foundation for bringing power to the common man who is today at the receiving end of police lathis and guns.

Written by S.Gorky

Translated by Ganapathy Nallasivan

(This article was originally published in a Tamil website on 02-Jul-2020)

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